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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Second guitar

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

tomkatb - Posted - 04/27/2020:  11:31:08

I would sort of like a second guitar to practice on and carry around. I found jamming helps me a lot. Currently using an inexpensive tri cone.

My guitar is a Harlow and is very bright and loud. I would sort of like a traditional sounding not quite so expensive smaller second.

Kind of leaning toward one of the dobros for sale but, I have heard kind of awful reports that they were of questionable quality. The Gerry Douglas model.

Mr Harlow lives nearby and could tune it up for me perhaps.

Anybody near Dayton Ohio who has one I could borrow for an hour?

Perhaps a Vintage R Beard might be a better idea? Opinions?

hlpdobro - Posted - 04/27/2020:  12:03:04

My only comment is that the Vintage R is a better built guitar. Everything else is subjective. I don't have your right hand so and I don't necessarily prefer what you prefer.

So, no opinions on the rest of your comments.

- "Jerry" Douglas although "Gerald" is his given name .


Edited by - hlpdobro on 04/27/2020 12:04:11

badger - Posted - 04/29/2020:  07:01:42

Is your Harlow a jumbo? If so, consider watching for a Regal-body Harlow. The combination (jumbo cherry, Regal walnut) served me very well for years. Both wonderful, very different tone.

badger - Posted - 04/29/2020:  18:25:58

Or buy that R body DeNeve that's in the classifieds (let the owner keep the pickup to resell on eBay and adjust the price accordingly). Frank will turn it into a cannon.

tomkatb - Posted - 05/01/2020:  05:56:44

Got me thinking!

Part of this is the DW and I travel around the US several months a year in a fifth wheel.

Not the best environment for an expensive guitar.

My comparatively awful brass tricone traveled with us in the past.

wlgiii - Posted - 05/01/2020:  11:39:03

I use an old Oahu as a travel guitar- its 3/4 size is quite portable, and quiet when that's desired.

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 05/01/2020:  12:52:23

Which tuning Wayne? The vast majority here play mostly in GBDGBD.

I would think if you left an Oahu in that tuning you might go to the back of the trailer one day and find that the bridge has separated itself from the top of the guitar. There were some Oahus with dobro-style tailpieces, if one were to go that route it might be the ticket. Come to think of it, if memory serves Lawrence/Larry  posted a couple years back that he might have even left one at his daughter's house in another state for him to play during visits, but he would have to verify that. 

For myself if I'm traveling in a 5th wheel several months a year (a dream of mine that may never come to fruition), and I want to keep my dobro chops up -  then I think the ticket is to play a dobro. And since I'm not getting any younger I think I'd probably bring my "A" Game resonator with me. If I end up in a jam somewhere and I'm sitting across from a guy who is playing a nice Martin, or Collings, Bourgeois, Santa Cruz, etc. - I wouldn't want to insult him by playing along on a crappy reso guitar. wink


tomkatb - Posted - 05/01/2020:  20:47:20

Good memory Mark.

I have the Oahu in Houston.

I am getting to the point of playing in public! Been invited to play some nursing home gigs! The last place I would play today!

We travel so much I need a decent guitar. Was invited to play with a small group on the road. Because, I want one.

The Oahu is a squareneck but, weighs about a third of what my Harlow weighs. I tune it up to G when I play in Houston, but I am concerned it will come apart.

Talked to Frank today. Recommended not carrying the good one in the fifth wheel.

We bought the rv because I can see in a few years it would be too much.

badger - Posted - 05/02/2020:  07:03:44

John Pearse strings offers a set that's gauged for high G on a Weissie-type. They're a bit lighter than the typical .016-.056 reso set, and work great on a light resonant instrument. I've got them on my Bear Creek. The only caveat is that you're pretty much restricted to GBDGBD - dropping the low E (I think it's a .052) to D for typical open-D tuning makes it really flubby.

Edited by - badger on 05/02/2020 07:04:01

SlippinNSlidin - Posted - 06/08/2020:  15:17:59

Yamaha APXT2 3/4 Thinline Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar. Good sound out of a little travel guitar, plus a pickup.

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 06/08/2020:  15:59:23


Originally posted by SlippinNSlidin

Yamaha APXT2 3/4 Thinline Acoustic-Electric Cutaway Guitar. Good sound out of a little travel guitar, plus a pickup.

Wrong forum - this is Resohangout. wink

Vele - Posted - 07/06/2020:  13:12:02

Is there a way to insert the sound files in the Forum?

MoReso - Posted - 07/06/2020:  14:57:03

Last week I found a Beard Copper Mountain on Reverb for a price that was tough to pass up, so I pulled the trigger thinking it would be great for exactly this purpose - a less expensive instrument that was less sensitive to temperature change than the solid wood instruments. I'm actually pretty impressed at how good it sounds for the reso equivalent of an Ovation. I have to admit that it does look/feel a bit odd to have a cutaway on a square neck resonator, but I doubt anyone else will even notice.

tomkatb - Posted - 07/07/2020:  18:35:06

I purchased at Mr. Harlows suggestion, a Regal Black Lightning. $300-500 used.

Had Frank replace the cone, spider, nut, strings, bridge. $300.

The guitar sounds really good. More 1940 than 2010.

Played a Gold tone here in a store. No comparison. The Gold Tone was not set up. Awful sound. The DW’s words, not mine. She listens to me now and then.

Becoming a believer in the professional set up thing.

wlgiii - Posted - 05/03/2021:  08:40:41

Update- I just took my Oahu camping this past weekend. Small, light, traveled nicely, quiet for morning playing without disturbing others. It worked well when playing with a couple other folks. It did not work well when the djembes and drunk guitars got going, especially when sitting farther apart.

gzerninplatz - Posted - 05/04/2021:  20:25:13

I use GBDGBD on my 1930s parlor Oahu, and on a Weissenborn. I drop the 3rd from .028 to .026, move the 5th string to the 6th, and add a middle weight string in the 5th position (.038 or .039) Works great....tension is even enough across the strings and no greater than other tunings have...
So it requires buying a few new strings, one for the 5th. But the rest of the set is pretty good...
And I chose to replace the 3rd, which might not even be necessary... the tension on the standard .028 third string is way higher than the rest of the strings, so I thought it was a win to do it, and it sounds fine. A number of Dobro string sets used to come with .026s until everyone decided that they really wanted that string to be loud and live a long time...I don't pick it as hard on the Oahu as I do on my dobro, so no problem with lifetime...
16 18 +26+ 35 +39+ 46

MikeS - Posted - 05/05/2021:  07:45:29

I’m on a RV trip and brought my approx 10 year old Regal (well used by at least one prior owner-no idea as to its history). OK to practice with, but the sound is less than optimal. I was thinking about installing a new cone spider and bridge. From what I’ve read I may not want to do it myself. As I live in a pretty much luthier free area though, I’d have to ship it, which then prices it way above its value, with no guarantee of better tone. So, how difficult a task is it to replace all that (myself), do the set up, etc.? Or should I just live with it as is? It rarely gets any play time at home.


Iceman6937 - Posted - 05/05/2021:  08:02:32

Never mind the shipping, just the cost of a good set up would run way above the value.

You might get an imported spun cone to sound better (ie., Continental from Elderly's) and swap it out. Verify the cone diameter and it might set you back $20 or so.  Worth the investment?

Edited by - Iceman6937 on 05/05/2021 08:03:57

tomkatb - Posted - 05/05/2021:  11:59:46


As noted above I just did this.

I have more into my Black Lightning than it is worth buy likely a lot. It is probably worth $500.

A professional tune up is likely around $200. The upgrade parts would cost the same whether you buy them or let the Luthier obtain them.

I had Frank hot rod my Gretsch Honeydipper as well. Likely I have more in it than it is worth. Like my Regal, it is not for sale.

Doing this does not take long. Try to locate a good guy along your route and have them do the upgrade. I think the extra $200 is money well spent.

Not a fan of the DIY thing here.

wlgiii - Posted - 05/05/2021:  12:29:39

The sound of my Oahu is less than optimal, especially compared to the National or Appy; but the ease and piece of mind when traveling more than make up for that. Sort of like the camp cooking- pad Thai from scratch at home is better than the quick Coleman version, but the latter is still just fine.

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